Bhutia-Ghising meeting fuels speculation

A meeting between Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Darjeeling, ace footballer Bhaichung Bhutia and Subhas Ghising, president of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) on Monday has fuelled speculations of an alliance between the two for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections.

According to sources, while an alliance will benefit both parties, Trinamool, which has been somewhat left in the lurch since the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha went ahead to support the BJP, could benefit from the support of a Gorkha outfit backing its candidate.

Both Trinamool and GNLF remain tight-lipped over the meeting, but the buzz is that only talks of an alliance could have come out of the meeting at Ghising’s Dr Zakir Hussain Road residence in Darjeeling, which lasted for nearly 45 minutes.

While the meeting is considered significance since GNLF is expected to finalise its stand on the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections by Thursday, Ghising had said earlier that not just Trinamool and CPM but even Independent candidate Mahendra P Lama has also sought his support.

Political observers in the Hills believe that GNLF’s support could provide Trinamool with much-needed elbow room in Gorkha-majority Darjeeling.

Meanwhile, Trinamool has demanded before the Election Commission that all booths in the Darjeeling Hills be declared “super sensitive”. “We have written to the Election Commission that all booths in the Darjeeling Hills be declared super sensitive to ensure free and fair elections,” senior Trinamool leader and minister Gautam Deb told reporters at Darjeeling on Monday.

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